Spinnaker Toastmasters Club, Porirua City, NZ #7868/72

The Toastmasters Programme

This page describes the Toastmasters Communication and Leadership programmes used at Spinnaker Toastmasters Club.

Two Educational Tracks

The Toastmasters Programme has two main educational tracks:

You can work on just the Communication Track, or both at the same time.

Communication Track ideal for aspiring public speakers

Competent Communicator Award gives basic skills

The core of the Communication Track is the Competent Communicator manual which contains 10 speech projects. This manual helps you develop the basic skills needed to prepare and present an effective speech. Each speech project builds upon the skills used in the previous projects, and you should strive to meet the objectives of each project, including time limits. The programme is basically a self-teach programme, with mentors and evaluators to help you.

Most speeches are 5-7 minutes in length, with the first speech, the Icebreaker (139KB pdf) being 4-6 minutes, and the final Inspirational speech, is 8-10 minutes. When you've completed all ten speech projects, the Vice-President Education will apply to Toastmasters International for you to be awarded the "Competent Communicator Award". Visit the Communication Programme page on the Toastmasters New Zealand website for more information.

Advanced Communicator Awards are challenging

After receiving your Competent Communicator Award, you can move on to the Advanced Communication Programme. This programme consists of 15 manuals, each containing five speech projects on a variety of themes. When you have completed any two Advanced Manuals, you will be awarded the Advanced Communicator - Bronze Award. To receive the Silver and Gold awards, you must complete two more manuals for each level, plus some other criteria. There is no time limit on completing awards.

For a detailed explanation of the Advanced Awards, visit the Toastmasters New Zealand Advanced Communication page.

Evaluations help speakers improve

Evaluations are the lifeblood of Toastmasters. After every prepared speech, the speaker receives an evaluation, both written and oral, using the evaluation guide for the speech project in the manual. The purpose of the evaluation is to help the speaker become a better speaker by commenting on the aspects of the speech which deserve praise. The evaluator will also make recommendations for improvements, so that the speaker receives immediate and valuable feedback for the future. The evaluator will always leave the speaker feeling encouraged with good ideas.

For more information about evaluations, visit the Toastmasters New Zealand Better Thinking page.

Speechcraft Courses for beginner speakers

Speechcraft Courses are short introductory courses to public speaking for up to 10 people, usually run over 6-8 weeks. Experienced Toastmasters from the club provide chairmanship, educationals and evaluations for Speechcrafters and provide mentoring and assistance to budding speakers.

Spinnaker Toastmasters Club usually runs one speechcraft course each year if there is sufficient interest. Most Speechcrafters then go on to join the club and complete their Competent Communicator Award. If you would like to register your interest in participating in a future Speechcraft course, please contact us by email spinnaker@toastmasters.org.nz.

Here's what previous Speechcrafters have said:

"I found the course very educational and rewarding. I gained a great deal, and feel the time was very well spent."

"It was fantastic! I really felt that I became more confident with each speech I gave, and that I was totally supported by the Toastmasters running the course."

"I found it a great way to gain confidence in a friendly supportive environment, knowing that everyone else was probably feeling the same nerves as me."

Leadership Track trains effective leaders

The Toastmasters educational programme also includes a leadership track, where you can acquire and practice the skills necessary to be an effective leader. You can serve as a Club Officer and develop skills in planning, training, motivating and managing. You can move on to be a District Officer and complete the High Performance Leadership programme. This requires you to complete a project of your choice in which you serve as a leader and can be within or outside of Toastmasters.

The Toastmasters programme has a "Competent Leader" Manual consisting of 10 leadership projects which are undertaken at club meetings and when performing club officer roles, including evaluating, chairing speech contests and mentoring new members. Download and print the Competent Leader Matrix for details on exactly what's involved. This manual is included in new member packs.

Achieving the Distinguished Toastmaster Award

The highest award in Toastmasters is the Distinguished Toastmaster Award and it recognises both your communication and leadership skills. You will receive a plaque and certificate, and be entitled to use the initials DTM ("Distinguished Toastmaster") after your name.

For a detailed explanation of the Leadership and High Performance Leadership Programmes, visit the Toastmasters New Zealand Leadership page.

You can view details of the full Toastmasters Educational and Leadership programme on the Toastmasters International website.

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